Ron Smith

Southwest Farm Press

Ron Smith has spent more than 30 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Denton, Texas. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and two grandsons, Aaron and Hunter.

Land values, cash rents trending upward
The increase in agricultural receipts in recent years has pushed up land values across the country, but some areas have benefitted more than others.
Next farm bill - risk management priority
The process may be neither pretty nor predictable but the 2012 farm bill is coming together and will include changes that farmers and ranchers are more likely to choke down than swallow willingly.
Agriculture's coming opportunity
Agriculture may see more volatility over the next decade than it has in the past 30. That means more opportunity, says David M. Kohl, professor emeritus, agriculture and applied economics at Virginia Tech.
Personal touch important in crop insurance purchase
Crop insurance is an important business decision for any farmer or rancher, but a key to buying the best policy for a specific operation may be the agent.
Seed companies provide first glimpse of 2012 cotton varieties
Here’s an early look at what’s new in cotton seed and technology for 2012 for the Mid-South, Southeast and Southwest regions.
Preventing fraud may preclude gentlemen’s agreements
Many a deal is concluded with a firm handshake, a smile and a few scuffles of a boot in the dirt on farms and ranches across the country — but that level of trust may soon be as rare as handwritten letters.
Ag Forum explores ramifications of farm bill changes
Representatives of major Texas commodity organizations expect the 2012 farm bill to offer a thinner safety net than the one they’ve relied on for decades.
Lucas vows not to support bad ag policy
Congressman Frank Lucas, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, would rather forego passing a hurry-up farm bill that jeopardizes the well-being of rural America and take his chances fighting for a better program next summer
Beef demand expected strong through 2012
Anticipated high demand for U.S. beef in both domestic and export markets bodes well for the industry into 2012, says Justin Gleghorn, Brock Thompson Trading, Amarillo.
Drought likely to persist into 2012
If you didn’t like the summer of 2011, chances look pretty good that you aren’t going to be happy with 2012, either. And 2013, ’14, and ’15 could add to your discontent.
Estate tax system faces uncertain future
Making a living in agriculture comes with a barnload of unknowns: What’s the weather going to do? How will insect or disease pressure affect productivity? Will the price of cotton in China affect U.S. markets?
2011 most challenging year for RMA leader
In his 31 years with USDA’s Risk Management Agency, William Murphy says he has never seen a year as complex and challenging as 2011.
Southern Rolling Plains cotton hard hit by drought
Famers and industry observers who gathered at the Wilde farm near San Angelo for the annual cotton variety trial field day recently enjoyed a respite from the relentless heat that has scorched Texas all summer. They looked hopefully to overcast skies thinking maybe they could get a bit of rain during the event, but they expressed little enthusiasm for the 2011 crop.
Wildfire: $100 million in Texas ag losses
The totals change every day as new fires break out, more acres are burned and more homes, livestock and lives are threatened by wildfires that have ravaged Texas and other areas of the Southwest for most of the last year.
Food safety law challenge for FDA
Implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) not only presents tremendous challenges to the Food and Drug Administration, but the new regulations also offer enormous opportunities to assure U.S. consumers of a safe food supply.
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